Social Psychology. I. Social Cognition and Perception: refers to the mental processes that help us to collect and remember information about others, and to form beliefs and attitudes and make judgments based on that information .
I. Social Cognition and Perception: refers to
the mental processes that help us to collect
and remember information about others, and to
form beliefs and attitudes and make judgments
based on that information.
A. Interpersonal Primacy Effect:the first information learned
about someone will be a more powerful influence on our
perceptions than any later information will be.
B. Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: expectations that change one’s
own behavior in such a way as to increase the probability of
the predicted event.
C. Stereotype:a generalized belief or expectation about a
group of people.
D. Prejudice:an attitude or feeling, favorable or unfavorable, toward a person or group of people, prior to, or not based on, actual experience.
E. Discrimination: actual behaviors based on prejudice.
F. Symbolic Racism:unintentionally discriminating against
some groups while expressing a belief that all people are equal.
G. Contact Hypothesis: the idea thatdiscrimination and
prejudice will decline as we have more contact with people who
we would have discriminated against.
1) Robbers Cave
H. Internal Attributions:explanations based on an individual’s
perceived stable characteristics, such as attitudes, personality
traits, or abilities.
I. External Attributions:explanations based on the current
situation and events that would influence all people.
1) Consensus Information:how an individual’s behavior
compares with other people’s behavior in a given situation.
2) Consistency Information:how an individual’sbehavior
varies over time in a given situation.
3) Distinctiveness:how an individual’sbehavior varies
J. Fundamental Attribution Error:the tendency to make
internal attributions for another person’s behavior despite the
presence of possible external influences.
K. Actor-Observer Effect:the tendency to make external
attributions for our own behaviors (especially negative ones)
and internal attributionsfor the behaviors of others.
L. Self-Serving Biases:attributions that we use to optimize
our perception of ourselves.
M. Self-Handicapping Strategies: we intentionally put
ourselves at a disadvantage to provide an excuse for an
expected defeat or failure.
II. Attitudes and Persuasion
A. Attitude:a like or dislike that influences our behavior toward
a person or thing.
B. Persuasion:any attempt to change your attitudes and thus
C. Central Route to Persuasion:serious decisions; invest time
and effort in evaluating the evidence.
D. Peripheral Route to Persuasion: decisions of little
importance; attend to superficial aspects (speaker’s appearance
or amount of evidence rather than quality of evidence.)
E. Sleeper Effect:delayed persuasion by an initially rejected
F. Minority Influence:those who hold an unpopular opinion
eventually change the attitudes of those who hold the majority
G. Strategies for resisting persuasive messages.
1) Inoculation: you give people counter-arguments to
prepare them for people trying to change their attitudes.
2) Forewarning: people know ahead of time what the topic
and method of persuasion will be and can be mentally
prepared to avoid being taken advantage of.
H. Strategies for increasing the power of persuasive
1) Distraction: people’s attitudes are more easily changed
when they are distracted enough from developing
counterarguments, but not so distracted that they don’t
receive / understand the message.
2) Rumination: if you get people to simply think about the
reasons why they feel the way they do about something, that
in and of itself leads to attitude strengthening.
I. Some common strategies of persuasion.
1) Norm of Reciprocity (pre-giving):giving the persuadee
something in advance before asking for compliance.
2) The Foot in the Door Tactic:making a small request first,
& once it is agreed to, following it with a second larger request.
3) The Door in the Face Tactic:making a request so large
that it is turned down, and then following it up with a second
4) The That's Not All Tactic:adding additional incentives to
the original offer (sweetening the deal).
5) The Lowball Tactic:making a deal that is too good to
refuse, and then, after the initial deal is agreed to, changing it
to one that is not as attractive.
6) The Bait and Switch Tactic:luring customers with an
attractive product and then trying to get them to purchase a
similar but different product.
J. Cognitive Dissonance: a state of tension that exists when
an individual holds contradictory attitudes or exhibits behavior
that is inconsistent with their attitudes.
III. Interpersonal Attraction
A. Proximity:we are likely to develop relationships with people
who live near us and become familiar to us.
1) Mere Exposure Effect:the more often we see someone
or something the more likely we are to start to like that person
C. Exchange / Equity Theories:we seek people with whom we
feel we can make equitable transactions of goods and services.
D. Physical Attractiveness
1) frequency of dating
2) feelings of popularity
3) others’ initial impressions of their personalities
Desired Number of
Over the Course
of One’s Lifetime
IV. Interpersonal Influence
A. Conformity:the maintenance or alteration of one’s behavior
to match the behavior and expectations of others.
1) Sherif’s Research
2) Asch’s Research
The Ally Effect:if you introduce a dissenter into the group
(i.e. someone who takes the side of the real subject), then
the real subject’s likelihood to conform drops significantly.
B. The Bystander Effect: people are less likely to offer help in
an emergency situation when other people are present; the
greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any
one of them will help.
C. Diffusion of Responsibility: we tend to feel less
responsibility to act when other people nearby are equally
able to act.
D. Pluralistic Ignorance:people will sometimes assume in
the absence of information that others have a different and
E. Social Loafing:the tendency to “loaf” or to do less work
when sharing work with other people.
F. Group Decision-Making
1) Group Polarization: if most members of a group already
have a strong opinion on a matter then a group discussion
will move the group as a whole even further in that direction.
2) Groupthink: group members may suppress doubts about
a decision in fear of making trouble or being criticized.
V. The Power of the Social Situation
A. Behavior Traps:situations in which conflicting parties, by each rationally pursuing its self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behaviors.
1) The Prisoner’s Dilemma:
a situation in which a person
must choose between
a cooperative act and
an act very beneficial
only to himself or
herself and most likely
hurtful to others.
2) TheCommons Dilemma: people who share a common
resource tend to overuse it and therefore make it unavailable
in the long run.
B. The Stanford Prison Study
C. Milgram’s Study of Obedience to Authority